Review of Yashica ML 50mm/2

As you might now I’m a fan of Yashica cameras and lenses (the reason I started offcourse). It all started out with a couple of old rangefinders and reading about the greatness of ML-series of lenses on … at the time I think it was the ML 24mm that was being discussed. I decided to get an adapter for Contax/Yashica and try this manual lenses on my Canon DSLR.

Yashica ML 50mm/2 Front

Yashica ML 50mm/2 Front

The purchase
I got this lens from Richard for free – thanks :) I also bought one on swedish ebay Tradera, just because it was so cheap and I didn’t wan’t it to go unsold. They are easy to find, buy one if you can!

Side of the lens Yashica ML 50mm/f2

Side of the lens Yashica ML 50mm/f2

The lens
This is perhaps the most common Yashica ML 50mm lens, but there are other faster versions also f1.4, f1.7, f1.9. It is small in size. The build quality seems good – turning rings feels smooth and reminds me of the feeling with some Pentax-lenses. It is multicoated and fully manual (it has no auto/manual-swtich or preset or anything like that). It is Contax/Yashica-mount so you need such a camera or adapter. I have used the lens on a Canon EOS 350D, for which I bought an adapter from China.

Mount of this manual lens

Mount of this manual lens

It’s very sharp. The bokeh is soft and wideopen it reminds me of some russian lenses, with almost a spinning feeling in the background. Good saturated colours. It gives a clear bright image in the viewfinder to focus on. Imagewise I can’t find anything to complain about with this lens.

Yashica ML 50 f2 from front

Yashica ML 50 f2 from front

The Yashica ML 50mm/2 is small. The size feels nice but there is one thing that can be annoying sometimes: the aperturering is the most inner thing on the lens, that is it sist nearest the camerabody and can be hard to get a grip on. The focusring is easy to grip and feels very well built.

As mentioned above there are faster Yashica ML 50mm. However, I think many underestimates this lens because it’s the slowest in the series. In fact I think it can match many faster lenses I’ve tried.


Bokeh example

Bokeh example

Long exposure on water

Long exposure on water

Tree and branch

Tree and branch

Autumn tree

Autumn tree

Ice with bokeh

Ice with bokeh

Post your Yashica ML 50mm/2 images on :)


+ Sharp, like most wide and normal ML-lenses I’ve tried.
+ Good bokeh, similar to some expensive russian lenses.
+ Saturated colours.


– Not the fastest 50mm lens, but f2 is often enough.
– Aperture ring very close mount (and therefore camerabody).

Reading & images
On pbase
My flickr-set

29 Responses in “Review of Yashica ML 50mm/2”

  1. jojo lyn says:

    your photos is very amazing for a ture art.

  2. Sam says:

    What year were these lens made?

  3. Oliver says:

    I’d say that the ML 50mm 1:2 was introduced in the first half of the 1980s. The 1980 Yashica book by Fritz Brandrup lists only the 1.2, 1.4 and 1.7; while a 1990 pricelist has only the 1.9.

  4. Ray says:


    I just realized that I have an old Yashica camera in my closet and when I looked I found a Yashica ML 50mm 1.9 lens.

    I’m getting a Canon T2i EOS body this week and I’m wondering what adapter ring you used? I would like to try this on my new cam. It would be really cool to use a lens that I used when I was a teen with real 35mm film.



  5. shortybiscuit says:

    I have the Yashica ML 50mm 1.9 lens. I bought the adapter ring to mount it to my Canon XTi. Excellent lens, even though my manual focusing abilities are quite lacking. Does anyone know the filter size for this lens? I’m thinking of getting a reversing ring for it.

  6. jonas says:

    fin bokeh! jag har börjat hålla ögonen öppne för en sån här faktiskt.. den skulle göra min contax rts lite smidigare. då skulle jag även kunna använda den som ljusmätare för min yashica 635~

  7. Mattias says:

    Jag har två, men en är lite trasig bländare på.

  8. m.i. says:


    I am also T2i/550D owner, and want to use Yashica lenses on this weapon. You have to check this link, there are y/c to eos adapters to buy…


  9. Renzo says:

    I love Yashica Lenses on Olympus e-series camera! I have collected various 50mm lenses including the Yashica ML from f2, f1.9, f1.7, f1.4, and the Yashinon DSM f1.7.
    Each of them are very sharp and has great bokeh. From my copies, I like the f1.9 the most. Although it looks very similar to the f2 in shape and size, the f1.9’s sharpness at wide open is noticeably better. At F8 they are all excellent.
    Nikon 50mm e-series is also very sharp but I still prefer Yashica’s bokeh.

  10. roberto says:

    hello !

    I got this lens recently and i wish to mount it on a sony A230. Would you know what adaptator I need ?

    Thanks in advance,


  11. Bambee says:

    Hello, I own since very long time three very good and almost unused, Yashica lenses, exactly the same as yours, those ones you’ve shown in your blog.

    I would like to buy an adapter to mount these lenses to the canon T2i DSRL.

    What adapter should I get, have you got the exact name of the model you bought?

    And where can I get it from?

    Your help will save me time.

    Thank you,


  12. J. Qian says:

    I have the 50 mm f 2 lens bought with a Yashica camera in 1986, it gave very sharp image with good color in film. Now I’ll try to find an adapter to mount it on my Panasonic GF1.

  13. Mattias says:

    Adapters are available on ebay, try to write “adapter yashica” on ebays searhcform.

    However I doubt you’ll find good Yashica-adapters for anything else then Canon EOS.

    I avoid adapters with built in glass, and that doesn’t leave my choice for Contax/Yashica.

  14. ic-racer says:

    You don’t need any adapter to use these lenses. They fit right on later Yashica and Contax SLRs.

  15. william says:

    Hi, i have the same exact lens that my dad gave me and i also bought a Contax Yashica C/Y Lens to CANON EF so it can fit on my T2i and it deliver some sharp images, i also have a yashica 28mm f2.8 these lens are just incredible.
    Sorry for my bad english.

  16. samuele says:

    @ Renzo:
    About 50/1.7 and 50/2 what is the best?

  17. zedex99 says:

    I just, today, received a C/Y to Nikon adapter from China, ordered through Cost was 31.92 which included shipping and took 2 weeks to get here (Canada). Seems to work with my 50mm f2.0 lens.

  18. I was reading threw the post and thought that this might be a good place to mention this site as well Let me know what you think.

  19. Wanda says:

    I have a Yashica FX-3 camera with a Yashica ML 50mm 1:2, Yashica DSB 135mm 1:2.8,Yashica DSB 28mm 1:2.8,Vivitar MC Tele Converter 2x-24,Hoya 52mm Star Six. I was thinking about selling,but have no clue about the value. Any suggestions?

  20. Victor Herasme says:


    do u know where i can find adapters for Nikon D80. I saw this lens the other day and i thought about buying it, but i didn’t know if it would work.

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  22. Greg Sparkman says:

    Yashica glass of this ere contains radioactive thorium. Up to 30%. Please consider that is why they turn yellow and why they are so plentiful and cheap.

  23. rlcimage says:

    My Y-50mm-f2.0 works great on my Contax Aria…
    My Y-50mm-f1.9 works great on my Sony NEX6…
    These two lenses give you exceptional quality in a compact package.

    Btw, can anyone exlplain why:
    the f1.9 weighs: 3.9oz
    the f2.0 weighs: 5.7oz
    ?? …Thanks.

  24. Israel says:

    Hi, i recently got a Yashica 50mm 1:2 from grandpa, RIP. I would like to clean it, but i find no guide or tutorial, could you point me to somewhere or how to? Thanks. Great picts btw.

  25. Wan Aiman says:

    Hey there! I just bought this lens after reading your page. Great content. And I’m also planning on buying polarizer for it, but will the front rotate when focusing?

  26. petert says:

    I was selling cameras way back when the ML line was introduced. I guess that was around 1980. The first Y/C mount lenses were YUS (Yashica United States). Not impressive. The 2nd line was the DSB line which came with the FX series bodies, the first Y/C Yashica mount bodies. The ML line came out with the FR series. I used to borrow some ML lenses and CZ lenses from Yashica Canada.
    Remember the 180 Olympia CZ? Wow. The 200mm and 300mm fixed were very sharp as was the 500 mirror.
    I have 2 50mm f1.9 dsb that I may adapt to my NEX and I currently use a 55 F4 DENTAL converted and adapted to my NEX. Absolutely sharp edge to edge.

  27. Marc P. says:

    It’s a really good lens, i do also have the Yashica ML 50/1.4, 50/1.7 lens, but for less than 10 bucks with shipping, couldn’t say no. Also, it’s way small, like a pancake (someone remember the C/Y Contax Zeiss 45/2.8, anyone?)

    Only drawback: 6 aperture blades (normal at these days) and the aperture control ring is too close to the camera mount.

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